"I have gained strength, flexibility, and endurance! I enjoy Pilates, doing push ups, and making it through Jillian's workouts."
I was always very fit and athletic throughout my childhood and while I was in high school. I gained weight, however, during my last year of college. I had heard of the "freshman 15," but I got the "senior 30"!
I'd gone through a stressful time being a poor college student and struggling with personal relationships. I didn't own a scale, and although I knew I had gained a few pounds, I didn't realize how much weight I had actually gained until I had a physical. When the nurse told me the number of pounds, 152, I was shocked because I had never been more than 130 pounds! Not to mention that I was getting the physical because I was having chest pains. I tried to tell myself that I should lay off the Starbucks, that too much caffeine was causing my chest tightening. I was in denial...
After realizing I had to lose some weight, I started eating better on my own and lost between 10 and 15 pounds. I wanted to lose more, but I couldn't motivate myself to exercise. My friend and workout partner bought Jillian's Winning by Losing, and we followed her 12-week workout program. Then, when Making the Cut came out, it had my name written all over it! I only wanted to lose 10 to 20 pounds, get stronger, and tone up. I thought, "Do it right or don't do it at all!" I took the food quiz and started following the Balanced Oxidizer plan and the intense 30-day workout routine. I was working out four days a week, and one other day I would try to do a Pilates or spin class.
I feel as though I can do anything now! I am so motivated to push myself and strive for the best! I just got a new job as a formulation scientist, which means I'm finally using my biochemistry degree. I recently attended a women-in-leadership conference and completed training to be a Junior Achievement volunteer. Now that I'm taking better care of myself, I can give back — and that feels great! The truly best thing is being proud of myself. I knew I was gaining weight, and nobody had to tell me. It was about me finding the motivation and energy to get things going. Having Jillian as if she was right there talking to me was the motivation I needed to get the wheels in motion!
Best compliments: I have gotten many great compliments at the gym. People say, "Watching you work out makes me tired" or "Whatever you're doing, keep it up because it's working." The most meaningful compliments came from my boyfriend — he never made me feel self-conscious, even at my heaviest, but he was the first to notice the changes, which encouraged me to keep going.
Activities now: I have gained so much strength, flexibility, and endurance! I now enjoy Pilates, being able to do push-ups with good form, and making it through a spin class or one of Jillian's workouts without taking long rests. The other day I didn't have time to do a full circuit, so I ran on the treadmill for 25 minutes without stopping while doing hill runs and sprinting intervals! I haven't been able to do that since high school!
Advice for others: Check yourself! If you're following a program and can't figure out why it's not working, ask yourself some questions: Have you been eating too many calories, or not pushing yourself hard enough during workouts? It's everything together that makes it a lifestyle change rather than just a diet program — and that was the best thing I learned. If you realize that, you will be more successful at losing weight and keeping it off! I have told so many people about Jillian's program and how it changed my life — it's easy to recommend something when you're living proof that it works!
I may not have been obese, but fitness comes on many levels, and recognizing that I wasn't where I wanted to be was the first step toward changing things. And you can start at any age — I am proud to say that my 64-year-old Dad has also picked up both of Jillian's books!
*Weight loss varies by individual. You may not achieve similar results.